KEY POINTS

  • The mother placed the loaded gun on a bed where her daughter was sleeping
  • The mother was charged with child neglect and allowing children to access a firearm
  • The toddler is in treatment and expected to make a full recovery

A Virginia woman has been arrested after her 2-year-old daughter accidentally shot herself. 

The mother, 22-year-old Kaylen Main, was cleaning her apartment while her daughter slept nearby. Main had kept a loaded gun on the bed. At some point, the 2-year-old woke up and proceeded to grab the gun and was handling it when it went off. She accidentally shot herself in the lower body around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, said the Prince William County Police. 

The incident occurred at Dumfries apartment complex in Triangle, Prince William County, according to WUSA.

A neighbor, Zera Solomon, saw blood on the ground of the complex shortly after the incident. "One of my friends told me [Main’s] car was parked right behind there and she was running with her hair all messed up, and there was blood, and then all of the sudden the cops came," she said to the outlet. "It is kind of sad because her daughter is really nice," she added.

Main and another family member took the toddler to the nearby station of Dumfries-Triangle Volunteer Fire Department. The child was taken to a local hospital where she received treatment, WRC-TV reported. The girl is expected to make a full recovery.

Main was later arrested and charged with felony child neglect and "allowing children to access a firearm." She is being held without bond. 

Last week, a 2-year-old boy in Texas accidentally shot himself in the head after finding a gun in a bag that belonged to a family member. The boy was rushed to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The owner of the gun fled the scene along with the weapon after the incident.

According to the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety, at least 2,070 unintentional shootings in the U.S. between 2015-2020 involved children. It resulted in 765 deaths.

A 2019 study that analyzed data of unintentional gun violence over a decade found that  28.3% of unintentional gun deaths occurred while victims were playing with a gun. Moreover, 17.2% of the victims were unaware that the gun was loaded.

The government is working on a law to regulate imitation guns The government is working on a law to regulate imitation guns Photo: AFP / Juan BARRETO